Ok, let me start off by saying that my life has been forever altered by my Garmin experience. Every run, well nearly ever run is captured by my Garmin as proof that I went out my front door.
So recently, when the last of my long standing Garmins died the horrible death that happens when batteries no longer have the “will” to hold a charge, I was left Garminless if there is suggest a word.
Doing without is hard. Racing without is even harder now a days. Long gone are the days where if I ran fast, it was a good day and not a short course. And slow time meant that I was not feeling well or was tied rather than course being 3 tenths long.
These days, I need to know these things. For no other reason than I need to rationalize my own effort whether good or bad.
The time came that I needed to find a replacement.
After looking at the various brands and modals, I found myself leaning toward buying another Garmin. But which one should I buy.
These days, a Garmin comes with more bells and whistles than a BMW car. Did I really need all of those whistles?
After all, I wanted to GPS watch to capture my runs and that’s pretty much it.
After some consideration and really not a lot, after all, I am buying a watch not a house, I dropped $70 on a Garmin 15.
Have I been happy it? Well, the answer is a bit complicated.
The short answer is both “Yes” and “No”. Yes, in that it does what I need. It provides me with a GPS watch, captures my overall time, records my splits using the auto lap feature, and allows me to see the history on it.
But on the “no” side, the interface is a bit on the crud side. And the directions for it are lacking in the way of real usage instructions. Most if it I figured out just by pressing buttons and seeing what happens.
Two of my biggest complaints are the display and the battery life.
The display only goes to 59 minutes and 59 seconds. Once it reaches this point, it rolls over 00:00 again. Granted it still tracks your over all time and splits, but you have to mentally add the 1 or 2 or 3 depending who long you been out on your run. I haven’t found a way to change it.
Then, there is the battery life. I am getting roughly 5 hours before it shuts down. For me, this means about every 3 runs, I need to recharge it. Or for those marathoners in the 4 to 6 hours range, they will like run out battery life before the run out of race. For ultra marathoner, it isn’t even worth the effort.
For anyone considering the Garmin 15, this is very much a entry level GPS watch. Yes, for the most part, I feel it does what it advertises, but like your first home, you will quickly grow out of it.
The Cool Down Runner